Nine ways to win at life

Advice. We all seek it until we don’t want it (which is when we actually need it). Its always changing too, both our needs of the advice and the actual advice. As we grow, or refuse to grow, the advice pool is always there. Here are some pieces of advice, that will help you win at life.

  • Worry. This is a must. Do it daily, because when you don’t worry, things don’t get done, or people get hurt, or life changing or threatening things happen. Worry fixes everything, and takes up very minimal brainwaves. So please, make sure to worry every day. Constantly, if possible.
  • Be Impatient. There is nothing that makes other people more happy to help you as when you are completely irrational and impatient—they know you have a schedule, and they know that you are the most important person/thing/happening in their life, so if you keep reminding them with your impatience, this will help you get what you need done.
  • Do everything at once. People who can’t do, multitask. If you try to do everything at once, you have the perfect excuse when you can’t finish anything. And if you get everything done while trying to do it at once, well, that is just a double win, now isn’t it?
  • Perfect perfection. Always focus on being the absolute best. Never settle for anything less. Ever. Never forgive yourself or others if perfection isn’t achieved daily.
  • Rudeness rules. Everyone else is so much less important than you are, and they just don’t understand your life, your needs or your time limits. So why not use rudeness, and pepper it with a LOT of sarcasm, so they understand who you are and will get out of your way so you can be that amazing person, and live your amazing life.
  • Focus on yourself. When you focus just on you, you understand yourself. You will always have to live with yourself, unlike everyone else. No one else has to live with you every day, so you’re the only one who knows what you need and when. Even if you don’t know. You can just sit there and focus on it and commiserate with yourself. Eventually everyone will realize that this is the best way to make yourself the best.
  • Throw everyone under the bus. Remember to get to number one, you have to get there first. If that means you have to pave the way with bodies, do it.
  • Know you’re perfect. Never try to learn anything new, make yourself better, understand others, grow, change, or delineate from your original self or plan. It only leads to destruction.
  • Never, ever, ever stop to breathe or take a moment. Woo-woo people who light candles and believe in things bigger than themselves take time to stop and breathe. You are on your way to winning at life, and your body does those things naturally, so why stop and take the time to do them?

If you’ve read this far, and stayed with me the entire way, I hope you are laughing. This was all sarcasm… To live a great life, do the OPPOSITE of all of these things. There is NO winning life. There is just LIVING life. Mistakes happen. We all get broken and bruised—but you just have to keep getting back up and trying again. Breathe. Be kind. Do the best you can. No one is perfect and we should STOP SEEKING perfection–it doesn’t exist.  Live your life for YOU, but don’t knock everyone down on your way. You’ll be much happier.

Xoxo–Clare

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Failure is what makes the goal achievement worth the most

Many times people stop their goal pursuits because they’re afraid to fail!  To me, that is one of the silliest reasons.  We all know, from extensive experience, that the failures along the way were just things that were not meant to be.  They were not going to serve us, and therefore they fell by the wayside.  They were markers to put us back on the right path and focus on what really matters.  AND most importantly, they make the achievement that much greater.  When we get to the top of the mountain and look around to enjoy the view, the slips and foot falls along the way made the view THAT MUCH GREATER.

So, why not fail?  Why not make all the mistakes?  Why not make all the slips and foot falls.  Visualize the view from the top, and take it one step at a time.  If you really want this, you’ll get there eventually.

We believe in you!

xx ~LL

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Having goals trouble–map it out!

Sometimes its hard to get focused on goals because the one you have in mind is overwhelming because it seems like it is too big or lots of steps.  However, if you sit down and write it all out, acknowelge all of the steps, it really isn’t as gregorious as you imagine.

Here is a blog on goal mapping and here is another on making lists… both will help you in achieving perspective through writing your needs and ideas out.

The main thing is to keep moving forward with those goals, even small steps.  A little each day will help you get to the main goal!

–Clare

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Don’t let excuses get in the way of your goals

In our pursuit to reexamine our 2016 goals, we see many of the choices we have made and we use excuses to get around it.   Goals are easy to set, and easy to meet with excuses, instead of actions.  However, if you take small steps toward your goals each day, you’ll actually find those small steps easier than making a new excuse or trying to live through the excuse you already made.

Excuses are never a positive thing. We simply need to get out of our own way to be able to move forward.

Focus on the goals, not the excuses!

–LL

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Celebrating National Love Your Feet Day

HA!  This one made me laugh… Its also National Thrift Shop Day, but the feet thing… I’ll admit it: at first I thought “EW!  Why a whole day to celebrate feet?!?”  And I’m not even squeamish  about feet… but then I thought–you know, some people love feet, and some people can’t stand to look at or even think about feet…

This made me liken this thought to that about weight –I’ve been dealing with weight issues my entire life, but I like to eat, and coming from German and Norwegian stock–I’m f*cked.  So, I gave in and bought fat shorts–if you missed that goals blog, you can laugh with me here!

I then went to write a blog about just enjoying the things you enjoy.  For me, its coffee.  But ultimately, its not just about loving your feet–its loving your whole self for exactly who you are in this moment, you beautiful snowflake!  Revisit one of my all time favorites about loving the skin you’re in right now.

Clare

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Thankful Thursday

Each week we encourage you to tune in, join the discussion and pass on your own thankful thoughts!


We are thankful for the ability to stop.  How often do you just stop what you’re doing, not because its the end of the day, or because you have to–but because you want to?  Give yourself time.  It is the greatest gift–even if its only 10 minutes.  Stop, and take a moment, or three for yourself today!

We are thankful for fast connection.  It is so easy to talk to people these days–remember 20 years ago when we just had land lines and the internet was just starting to go public?  And now you can talk to anyone or look for anything instantly.  Yes, it has trained us to need things more instantaneously, but it is a lovely thing to be able to connect with so many, so easily.  Today is National Presidential Joke Day AND National Sons and Daughters Day–maybe you should take this as a sign to reach out and share a joke with a friend (so many Trump jokes pop into my brain), or reach out to a son, daughter, or someone who is a son or a daughter!

Comment below with what you’re thankful for, and post on social media with #thankfulthursday #liveclarelesley

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

Celebrating Grab Some Nuts Day

If there is one thing we’re TOTALLY about here at LCL its grabbing life by the “nuts” and running with it!

I’m all about making goals and charging forward with them.  Every January I write a blog about making Goals instead of resolutions–and this year Clare and I have been posting weekly about our progress–If you’ve not been following, mine are posted Monday, and Clare’s are on Fridays.  Sign up with us to keep updated!

I’m all about finding the hurdle and jumping over it.  In fact in my blog Get In My Way, I EMBRACE IT!  Go read, or re-read it  and #grabsomenuts

–LL

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Goals 2016–#29 LL

As you know last week was a big health goal week. I had only one goal. To do this test. Well, I did my test and am awaiting the results. So stay tuned.

This week I am focusing on just one thing as well. I started out 2016 hoping to get into a special program with my Pilates mentor. I was one of 12 people selected for a year long program. This year my goal was to complete this program, all 4 parts. This week is the 3rd portion. I must admit it’s been a tough section for me. I’ve had to do some major soul searching. I have had to release my desire to be the best, to be perfect and to realize that I am enough.

This weeks goal is to remind myself to be where I am, to soak up info like the best sponge on earth and when the going gets tough to remind myself I am enough. We all our.

xx~LL

Perfect for someone

This morning while running around UCLA I was listening to this weeks episode of the “Being Boss” podcast.  They were interviewing artist Brenda Mangalore about her transition from working in the corporate world as a web designer to living as an artist. An artist who gets paid to do what she loves. She would pray that she wouldn’t have to go into work each day. One day this made her wonder. Why do I not want to go to work? It’s a perfectly good job. Great job really. That’s when she realized that this perfectly good job was perfectly good for someone else but not her.

Perfection is very attractive. We tend to all be striving to do something or multiple things perfectly. It’s easy to want to be the best. Perfection is a bright shiny object. It’s like a moth to a flame. But we usually fall for perfection on paper. Because as we know “Perfect” just doesn’t exist.

This all got me thinking. I remember setting my goals about 5ish years ago. I had some great goals about work that I wanted and can now look back and see I have achieved. But some of my personal and health goals. Well they were perfectly good goals. Goals many people would have understood and even supported me on or joined in with me. But, they didn’t really light my fire. I actually kept postponing them, making excuses of why I shouldn’t do them. Which got me wondering…why someone who loves achieving goals is literally shoving goals in a corner. Oh, because these goals were perfectly good for someone but not for me.

Here are a couple of other “perfect” journeys:

Perfect Job: As you know if you have been reading our blog for awhile I have twice left salaried jobs for something else. Something my heart was yearning for. Something bigger than what I was doing. Both times I was expecting people to be as excited as I was for this next adventure. What I found when I told people I was quitting my job was shock, concern and worry. Most people said “Are you sure?” There were only a couple people who were supportive in a way that didn’t feel like they were waiting for the bottom to drop. I even felt like some people thought I would change my mind. Both jobs on paper were pretty awesome. Decent work schedules, good pay, room for growth and the ability to lead others. But both had run their course. Both jobs were perfect for someone else but not for me.

Perfect Mate: Just like in my jobs situation when I left my ex I had more people as me “if I was sure?” Plenty of people reminding me I could always go back. Most people just didn’t understand how I could leave a relationship that was “working.” My ex was a lot of things that many people would want. He has even recently married. He was perfect on paper, a great person but just not the right mate for me.

I think it’s important for us all to take time to do inventory in our lives and see where we are keeping things because they are perfect on paper or because they are “perfect” for you.

Do you wake up and dreading doing something you used to love?

Do you find yourself wishing you would wake up sick so you don’t have to work?

Do you sometimes wish your significant other would break up with you?

Are you making excuses for not doing something you say you want?

It’s not easy to give up with “perfect on paper” situation. But, what if you could? What would it take to give it up? Do you have to save up money, take a class or classes, move somewhere? Vision your life doing what’s right for you instead of doing what’s right for someone else. Then take that leap of faith! I promise from our end you’ll get lots of high-fives.

I left that perfect job and perfect mate and am thousands times happier. Life would have been fine if I stayed. Life is so much fuller because I did me. I through out that perfect paper and just trusted my vision. It’s so worth it.

I highly recommend listening to the full podcast episode. It’s always incredible to hear how someone went from the 9-5 job to rocking their bliss. We all have our own journey. I’ll repeat that, we all have our own journey. Enjoy yours!

xx~LL

7 Life Habits I Learned in Acting Class

I look back fondly, and with a spoonful of laughter at one of my first required classes I took for my acting degree. My school called it “Voice and Movement,” but every acting program has a similar class. Before they’ll allow you to tackle text (or scripts), you have to learn how to effectively use your instrument (your body) and how to be kind to yourself. As a “kid” in her early 20s, I’ll admit I scoffed at some of the things we did. I called the class “kindergarten for actors” which I still do. And I still chuckle to myself at people lying on the floor doing “Dying Cockroach.” (Lay on your back. Put your arms and legs in the air and “tremor” or shake your arms and legs, while vocalizing (moaning out loud). It’s very silly looking, but it does help you relax your body and help yourself get a good deep breath.)

While we did many silly things, walked around the room with different parts of our body leading, said poems or tongue twisters while on all fours pretending to be animals, and other things that seemed silly then and now, but I’m sure helped embed technique into my soul. But the basics of acting, and life, really, were retaught to me in that class. I try to do these things daily, but sometimes they don’t happen–and honestly, my “bad days” are the ones I didn’t prep for. I’m not saying: do all of these things daily and everyday will be perfect. I’m just saying that if you go into every day “warmed up” you’ll have a much better chance at dealing with any crisis that arises.
1. Breathe— if you regularly read my posts, you’ll see a theme. I probably honed breathing in college, because it is the best way to conquer nerves, but my mother has been preaching deep breaths to me from day one. A good deep breath relaxes and centers you. It’s great to support your speaking voice. When I’m nervous, I think of my breath as those little scrubbing bubble dudes for my stomach butterflies and nerves; breath goes in and scrubs the stomach releasing the butterflies, who get caught in the bubbles and are released with an out breath. Laying flat on the floor and taking a deep breath in is also magical. It allows anything that you’re holding, to just release out. I should write a whole blog on breath and breathing…stay tuned!

2. Stretching–warm up that body. If you’ve been following my goals blog, I’ve been doing at least 4 Sun Salutations every morning. We did lots of yoga and Pilates when I was in Voice and Movement. Stretching was highly encouraged: every morning, before shows, and always at the start of class. Even if you’re just reaching high up to the sky and then down to your toes a few times and then twisting at the waist a little back and forth. Do your stretching after you’ve moved around a little. As in, pee, wash your face, put the kettle or coffee on and then stretch. I have truly gotten to the point where I miss stretching. I have a couple of jobs that require me to be very physical, and I make sure that I do some extra stretching on those days. I really can tell the difference.

3. Vocalizing–Everyone should make a little bit of noise upon waking up. Your vocal chords are a muscle, too! They need stretching. Do a gentle hum while making coffee or in the shower–the best place!! Just five minutes of gentle vocalization first thing in the morning–more if you want–will help. You’ll find you’ll clear your throat much less, you’ll be able to talk for longer and louder, and not be so vocally tired at the end of the day. Stretching your lips and face are good too. It’s ok. Make the funny noises and faces–no one is watching. (And if they are, charge admission!)

4. Use different tactics–one of my favorite exercises in class was using a technique created by Michael Chekhov–who has several technique books if you’re interested. One day my teacher walked in and while we were stretching and warming up, she wrote the following words on the board:

  • push
  • pull
  • lift
  • drag
  • penetrate
  • throw
  • cut
  • collect

The activity was to say our prepared monologue for the class that sat in a circle around us and during the monologue the teacher would shout out one of these words. We were to physically or vocally engage in the action without stopping our monologue. At first this was hard, but I now do it with any text I work on. This activity requires you to stop your already focused mind into doing something different.  It makes you change the idea that you’re working with and head in a different direction.  Switching up a tactic will do two things: give you a different perspective, and get you out of your rut.

When you are doing the same thing over and over, you get the same or similar results. When you do the same thing with a different tactic, even if it’s only inside you, there will be a shift or change. As I’m not one for drudgery or repeating the same things over and over and over the same way, I love using different tactics in life. Right now, I’m unhappy with my weight. On any given day I can push myself to eat more veggies, pull myself to work out more, and lift my spirits by telling myself that is only temporary. If I was only pushing myself, I’d give up.

5. Leave it outside–theater people are dramatic. Very dramatic. We were told that any time we had any emotional pull in our lives that it was to be left outside the door so for the 90 minutes we were in class, we had to focus on class, and not the emotional pull of our lives. This one was surprisingly easy–and I had a lot of drama back then, or what seemed like a lot of drama. We were to come in with open minds and hearts so we could do good work. This might not necessarily work for those of you who are at a desk for 8 hours, but giving yourself time limits for emotions is a good way to control them. Allow yourself to only be emotional on bathroom breaks. Or lunch time. Or only with specific people at designated times.  A coffee run can be a great kvetch session.  Again, it’s not for all people, but taking control of your emotions by allowing them at specific times is something I found very helpful to focus on other things. #savethedramaforyomama

6. Show up–first rule of my class was, sick or not, sad or happy, tired or awake, we were to show up for acting class.   This was required for two reasons, other than the “you should attend class” rule.  First–we all have a partner or someone we depend on.  If I couldn’t work, my partner would suffer my absence as well as me.  Sometimes if I wasn’t physically able to do my scene, just sitting and reading the script with my partner would make all the difference.

Second–most of the time showing up makes you feel better.  We were told that if we just showed up to class that we would get credit. If we were feeling too crummy to participate, we could just watch. If we were feeling death-warmed-up, we were dismissed. Most of the time, I felt better for just going. And twice I was allowed to leave without being counted absent. Maybe it’s only me, but perfect attendance feels pretty darn awesome.

7. Judge kindly–yourself or the work and creativity of others. We were told we should critique others work. It helps us see what we liked and didn’t like, and what works and doesn’t work.  Although you shouldn’t judge, critically looking at the work of others will help you understand the work.

Inversely, it also taught us how to take a critique or compliment. HOWEVER, when we were critiquing, if it was a negative–we were to use “I wish…” So instead of saying “you should have known your lines better” we were to say “I wish you would have been more familiar with the text.” Instead of “wow, you were over dramatic at one point” we would say “I wish you would have taken it down a notch in the middle, because everything on one note was grating.” Anything negatively can be said constructively. I find I get more results with everyone in my life if I ask or reply in a positive way.

It’s amazing that a class I took when I was 19-20 years old has rippled it’s way through my life. Little changes, little adjustments in your life and attitude make so much difference. Try some of these for a week or two. They really don’t take a lot of effort. Make a new habit and see how you feel!

–Clare

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